February 16, 2011 / 11:15 PM / 9 years ago

Reaction to Lance Armstrong's retirement

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Reaction to Lance Armstrong’s retirement from cycling on Wednesday:

Steve Johnson (USA Cycling chief executive):

“His legacy for our sport is unprecedented. He managed to make an entire country aware of the sport. He put it on the radar screen of a lot of young people and in a sense legitimized it.”

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Eddy Merckx (Five-times Tour de France winner):

“It was time for him to stop. He’s won everything, had nothing left to prove to anybody, I’m still not completely sure why he came back after retiring the first time but that’s only my opinion, everybody does what he wants in this life and that was his decision.”

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Christian Vande Velde (former team mate of Armstrong at US Postal)

“He’s leaving a real legacy and to come back and get third in the Tour at the age he was and after what he’d already accomplished is pretty impressive. In my book, he’d have been better just retiring after the first time, but he still had that ax to grind and at the end of the day he just wanted to be with the boys (team mates). He loves sport, we’ll watch him and follow him even now, he’s still doing all this running and swimming, the guy’s got a machine and a brain like no others.”

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Doug Ulman (President and CEO of LIVESTRONG and three-time cancer survivor):

“Lance gave the fight against cancer one of the biggest spotlights there is and thanks to his efforts, we’ve made great strides in raising awareness of the challenges faced by cancer survivors everywhere.

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Daniel (Armstrong fan on Twitter);

“Until something is proved against him, he’ll be an inspiration for me. Cancer survivor and champion.”

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Philip Hersh (Olympic sports writer, Chicago Tribune):

“Armstrong was the most inspirational while controversial superstar athlete the United States ever has produced.”

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The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA):

“WADA’s mission is to promote, coordinate and monitor the fight against doping in sport in all its form. You should be aware that it is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that is leading the investigation against Armstrong, not WADA.”

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Sarah Collins (Fan on Twitter. Armstrong retired on the same day Alberto Contador’s doping ban was lifted):

“I love how Lance always finds a way to knock Contador off the front page.”

Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina and Alasdair Fotheringham in Oman; Simon Evans in Miami; Editing by Steve Ginsburg

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